Sunday, April 08, 2012


News Links, April 9, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spain 'headed towards' 2013 financial crunch
SA industrial policy comes up against heavy weather as it battles economic downturn
"It is reported that South Africa's industrial policy has come up against heavy weather as it battles the economic downturn, spiraling internal input costs such as electricity, fuel, freight and logistics, as well as dominant companies in the economy that refuse to play ball."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
United to pull out of Oakland airport in June
"United Airlines will terminate its operations at Oakland International airport on June 4, an airport representative said Saturday night."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran non-oil exports surge 29% despite sanctions
"Iran's non-oil exports surged 29 percent to nearly $44 billion in the year to mid-March despite tough Western sanctions to rein in Tehran's disputed nuclear drive, according to officials and data."
U.S., Europe to 'demand' Iran close nuclear facility
Israel 'would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear programme with pre-emptive air strike'
"Israel would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear programme in a pre-emptive air strike with its current airforce, forcing its leadership to look for alternative means of attack, an influential defence report has concluded."
Bahrain hosts warplane drills with US, Arab allies
"Bahrain's military says the U.S. and eight other countries are taking part in the Gulf nation's largest air force exercises in more than two decades."
Reports: US, Philippines building new naval base in Spratlys
"A new seaport being built by the Philippine government in the Spratly islands could become the Pentagon's military outpost in the hotly contested South China Sea, according to news reports."
Ex-KGB man wins presidency in South Ossetia
"A pro-Russian former KGB officer appeared set on Sunday to win a presidential election run-off in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, where Moscow is seeking to re-assert control."
North Korea planning third nuclear test: Yonhap
Syrian cease-fire deal appears to collapse
China Buys Inroads in the Caribbean, Catching U.S. Notice

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Occupy protesters return to Minneapolis
Tunisia: Police Use Tear Gas and Batons to Disperse Jobless Protesters
Greek protesters attack police officer during march
Olympics boss: there's no way to stop protesters

## Energy/resources ##
Construction of $1.5bn IP gas pipeline project (Pakistan)
"Russian energy giant Gazprom is interested in constructing $1.5 billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project without any international bidding, sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said on Saturday."
Do the math: Oil price salvation won't be found in the Bakken
"And before you think that salvation will come from American shale oil, consider this fact: The Bakken discovery in the northern United States, the oil play that has the industry buzzing with excitement, has estimated recoverable reserves (using current technology) of no more than 4.3 billion barrels, according to a 2008 U.S. government geological report. The world consumes about 32 billion barrels a year. Do the math. Globally speaking, the Bakken is insignificant, and will remain insignificant even if the reserve figure doubles."

## Got food? ##
'Cruellest' month for food prices (India)
Slumping U.S. Crop Reserves Raising Food Costs in Election Year
Fisheries companies fear of becoming insolvent (Vietnam)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Brazil wins the gold medal in gridlock

## Japan ##
Green light to Oi restart almost certain next week
"The government, desperate to avert power shortages this summer, is set to declare as early as next week that suspended reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture can be restarted."
Mayors organize antinuclear forum
"Fifteen current and former mayors will hold a conference this month to lobby against nuclear plants, one of the mayors said."
Pension funds told to write off AIJ money
"The welfare ministry has instructed corporate pension funds to write off all money they entrusted to scandal-hit AIJ Investment Advisors Co. as losses in fiscal 2011 that ended March 31, it has been learned."

## China ##
China shuts political websites in crackdown

## UK ##
Sharp drop in staff teaching 'soft subjects', figures show
"Growing numbers of new teachers are abandoning "soft subjects" in favour of core academic disciplines, new figures show."

## US ##
Homeless in Philadelphia (photo essay)
Baby boomer market bust?
"As 70 million people born between 1946 and 1964 begin retiring, the big question is: Will they bail out of stocks and other assets to pay for their golden years?"
Getting naked down at the jail
"New list of emergency items for your car: first-aid kit, flares, tools, clean underwear -- for those inevitable strip searches at the jail after routine traffic stops. The concept gives new meaning to the usual police order, 'Spread 'em.'"
Surprise! You owe another $54 billion
"The state of Illinois admits to $83 billion in pension underfunding, a staggering weight on today's and tomorrow's taxpayers. Add to that the as yet uncalculated billions in unfunded pension obligations for city, county and other local governments."

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